Now that classes have started and the interview season is upon us, it’s always interesting to examine what law firms will do to be attractive to law students. As a creative method to demonstrate to law students that it truly is different, Halleland Lewis in Minneapolis developed an interactive website to demonstrate the questions and answers in a typical law firm interview. First, this website is hilarious, and bravo to Halleland for breaking the mold. Second, this is a great example of ostensibly understanding the difference between what people say and what they mean. Finally, if Halleland actually has the work environment that it describes, it sounds as if problem-solving, teamwork, and collaboration are all valued. I think I know some students who should be calling you shortly!
Cross posted at Indisputably.
I recently screened The Paper Chase (1973) in one of my law school classes. While the majority of current law students are more familiar with recent pop cultural portrayals of legal education such as Legally Blonde (2001), The Paper Chase seems to me to set the stage for those portrayals, especially through the character of Professor Kingsfield and the images from his menacing Socratic classes. I interpret The Paper Chase as the fictional story of a law student encountering and then overcoming the dehumanizing forces of legal education. Continue reading “The Paper Chase: What Does the Film Tell Us About Contemporary Legal Education?”
This important question is explored in a forthcoming mini-symposium in the Boston University Law Review. The lead article, written by Professors Jennifer Collins, Ethan Leib, and Dan Markel, argues that if criminal law is going to be used to enforce the responsibilities of family members to one another, then there also ought to be ways for people in other types of caregiving relationships to make their responsibilities criminally enforceable. Continue reading “Should Criminal Law Be Used to Enforce Family Responsibilities?”
In an unsual case (as far as the success rates of these cases (and here) go), and one that might still be overturned by an appellate court, the DOL’s Administrative Review Board (ARB) finds in favor of a mine cleanup whistleblower.
In Dixon v. Dept. of the Interior, No. 06-147 (8/28/08), the ARB found that a federal employee of the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) engaged in protected activity under the whistleblower provisions of several environmental statutes. Consequently, he properly received back pay and compensatory damages. Continue reading “A Whistleblower Wins! A Whistleblower Wins!”
When I became a legal writing professor, one of the first and most surprising things I learned was how important the “IRAC” (Issue, Rule, Analysis, and Conclusion) formula has become in most legal writing teaching nowadays. Almost every legal writing textbook relies on some version of the formula. In fact, so many legal writing professors have developed their own personalized version of the formula that the variations of the acronym form a dizzying alphabet soup: CREAC, CRuPAC, RAFADAC, IRLAFARC, etc., etc., etc.
The rise of IRAC seems to have gone hand in hand with the increasing professionalization of legal writing teaching. At the same time, legal writing teachers have long debated the uses and misuses of IRAC in legal writing and in legal writing teaching. For example, almost the entire November 1995 issue of The Second Draft (bulletin of the Legal Writing Institute) was devoted to the question of “The Value of IRAC.” Continue reading “Did You Learn About IRAC in Law School? How Did IRAC Become Such an Important Part of Legal Writing Teaching? And Should it Be?”
The federal money-laundering statute prohibits both the concealment of proceeds from crime and the use of such proceeds to promote illegal activities. While designed primarily with drug kingpins in mind, the statute’s broad language can easily become a trap for low-level criminals doing fairly routine things. (I posted recently on a good example of an aggressive use of the money-laundering statute.) Expansive readings of the statute mean that the penalties attached by Congress to many predicate offenses become meaningless, as nearly everyone becomes subject to the twenty-year maximum prison term triggered by a money-laundering conviction. Responding to this concern, the Supreme Court recently adopted narrow constructions of the money-laundering statute in two cases, United States v. Santos, 128 S.Ct. 2020 (2008), and Cuellar v. United States, 128 S.Ct. 1994 (2008). The cases may point the way towards a more discriminating money-laundering jurisprudence that attempts to reserve the harsh penalties of the statute for the most deserving defendants. Continue reading “Supreme Court Raises Doubts About the Money-Laundering Trap”
This afternoon in Eisenberg Hall, three distinguished scholars kicked off the first installment of the Centennial Symposia celebrating the 100th anniversary of Marquette University’s acquisition of the Milwaukee Law School and the Milwaukee University Law School. (A podcast is here.) This session, entitled “The Origins of Marquette University Law School,” featured Joseph A. Ranney, a legal historian, shareholder in DeWitt Ross & Stevens S.C., and adjunct professor at the Law School; Professor J. Gordon Hylton of the Law School (who is organizing the symposia); and Dr. Thomas J. Jablonsky, the Harry G. John Professor of Urban Studies at Marquette.
Continue reading “Centennial Symposium: Origins of Marquette Law School”
I am linking here to an interesting article from the ABA Journal last week pointing out that a lawyer’s reputation is much like your savings account-add a little to it each year and it can make you rich over time. I like this framework of reputation for two reasons: One, it suggests that a good reputation is worth money in the bank. We know anecdotally and from laboratory studies that this is true. Second, the idea of savings in a bank account is a great analogy in terms of reminding lawyers that every little thing they do can help or hurt that reputation. It’s not just the end of year bonuses that add to your savings, it’s the monthly deposits as well. Similarly, it’s not just the grand gestures in large negotiations that make your reputation, it’s how you act on a daily basis with your counterparts Although the book referred to in the ABA Journal is for young lawyers, I think this provides good advice all around!
Cross posted on Indisputably.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee County Exec Scott Walker laid out their visions for the future of mass transportation in Milwaukee at today’s On the Issues with Mike Gousha program at the Law School. (A podcast is here.) The transportation issue invites vision statements in part because $91.5 million in federal funds are set aside for mass transit in Milwaukee and in part because Milwaukee’s once prized transit system is badly broken. Without an agreement between Barrett and Walker, the federal funds are unlikely to be released. But an agreement between those leaders will be hard to come by: the mayor looks to cities that are growing and thriving and sees rail service as a key component of the local transportation strategy; the county exec looks at Milwaukee’s deteriorating bus system and wants those federal funds to shore up and improve county bus transportation.
Where Barrett sees local rail service as a critical economic development tool that can invigorate the region, Walker sees inflexible routes and minimal practical benefit. Where Walker sees improved bus service as a reliable system for moving workers and students, Barrett sees a county bus system that is in a “death spiral” which cannot be fixed just with more buses. Continue reading “Mayor Barrett and County Exec Walker on the Future of Mass Transit in Milwaukee”
That’s the idea about this campaign by the U.S. Department of Labor and Major League Baseball.
Together, they are launching the ‘PITCH’ campaign to encourage businesses to hire people with disabilities. Former Major Leaguer Jim Abbott, famous in baseball history for being the first pitcher to make it to the majors pitching with only one hand, will be serving as campaign spokesman. Continue reading “Using the Power of Baseball to Help Inspire the Disabled”
One of my guilty pleasures – and the guilt is substantial – is the animated series “South Park.” I fully admit that the show is occasionally offensive and often tacky, but the laughs are worth it.
Everyone doesn’t agree. Via the indispensable Religion Clause Blog, we learn that authorities in the Basammy region of Russia want to ban the show, citing an episode called “Mr. Hanky’s Christmas Classics,” which contains some faux Christmas carols (on which I will not elaborate) that certainly might offend certain religious sensibilities (although it is hardly the most offensive bit of the South Park library). The effort apparently rests upon a 2006 law that prohibits “the abasement of national dignity” and “inciting religious and national hatred.” Continue reading “Russian Officials to South Park: “Respect My Authoritah!””
My colleague Ralph Anzivino has a helpful new article that explores the fine line between contract law and tort law: The Economic Loss Doctrine: Distinguishing Economic Loss from Non-Economic Loss, 91 Marq. L. Rev. 1081 (2008). As developed by Wisconsin and many other states, the economic loss doctrine indicates that purely economic losses are recoverable in contract, while non-economic losses are recoverable in tort. The difficulty lies in distinguishing economic from non-economic, particularly with respect to property damage resulting from product failure. (Imagine, for instance, a defective garage door opener that causes a garage door to close on the owner’s car.) Continue reading “Economic Loss: Learning From Insurance Law”